Book: Wilfred Bion
…she becomes aware of realities which did not burden her before: regret that she had governed her life to date on these false perceptions; guilt about the way in which she had treated her husband, father and mother; sadness that she had been cut off from several avenues of ‘possibility’. She had to bear personal regret, guilt and sadness. She was stuck in the first emotional constellation, feeling unable to bear these ‘dark’ emotions. This suggests some inner sense of their presence. There is here the emergence of truth and with it a dawning of hope. The change occurs in a decision to face pain rather than evade it. The analyst can witness a patient changing from evading pain to facing it but not the reason for doing so.
The phenomenon of someone moving from evading pain to acceptance of suffering is in direct opposition to the pleasure principle.
He says that the crucial determinant in mental growth is whether the individual ‘decides’ to evade frustration or to tolerate it.